Learn how concern levels are calculated in the Executive Summary of your Transect Report
In this article:
- Species Concern Levels
- Waters Concern Levels
- Protected Areas Concern Levels
- Environmental Compliance Concern Levels
The Executive Summary in a Transect Report tells you what resource types are important within the report by assigning a high, medium, or low level of concern for four main topics:
- Federal Species: Statutorily-protected federal species
- State Species: Statutorily-protected state species (For states that do not have statutory protection for state species, species do not warrant consideration. This box will be gray with a note saying: Transect does not account for state listed species in this state at this time)
- Waters: Wetlands, streams, rivers, floodplains, etc.
- Protected Areas: Lands owned or managed by federal, state, tribal, local, and other entities
The three topics above encompass the many of the resources protected by the federal, state, and local regulations that are assessed by Transect.
We also provide one concern level that is not directly related to natural resources:
- Environmental Compliance: A preliminary understanding of potential hazardous and contamination issues
The environmental compliance information provided by Transect is intended to give the user a preliminary understanding of potential environmental contamination issues that may affect the economics, placement, or scheduling of a project. The environmental compliance information provided by Transect should not be relied upon for environmental compliance due diligence and does not replace a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment.
Each topic has three components:
- High, medium, or low concern level: Determined based on the presence or absence of certain data within the project and the answers to the context questions
- Notes: Recommendations for next steps based on the concern level
- Snapshot: A summary of the data used to generate the concern level
The species topic has one additional component:
- Recommendations: Species-specific recommendations and/or next steps
Species Concern Levels
Species of Concern is a term used by a lot of different conservation and regulatory groups in different ways. The lead federal species protection agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, defines Species of Concern as an informal term that refers to those species which might be in need of concentrated conservation actions.
Transect uses this term similarly: Species of Concern are those species that are in need of some additional action on a project site. The additional action might be a habitat assessment, a presence/absence survey, or a permit.
Because there are federal and state laws that protect sensitive species, and those laws often trigger lengthly permitting timelines, it is important to know as soon as possible if there are any species of concern on your proposed project.
Federal Species Concern Levels are:
HIGH if the AOI intersects one or more federal species that are Species of Concern
MODERATE if the AOI intersects with one or more federal species that are May Occur but there are no Species of Concern
LOW if the AOI does not intersect any federal species that are Species of Concern or May Occur
State Species Concern Levels are:
HIGH if the AOI intersects one or more state species that are Species of Concern
MODERATE if the AOI intersects with one or more state species that are May Occur but there are no Species of Concern
LOW if the AOI does not intersect any state species that are Species of Concern or May Occur
Waters Concern Levels
The high, moderate, or low executive summary level for waters are computed using the number of intersections the project AOI has with the varies waters-related datasets included in Transect. The formula is as follows:
HIGH If the AOI intersects with ANY "Wetland areas" OR ANY "Waterbodies areas" AND if "Waters will be affected"*
It is currently not possible to have a Moderate waters concern level unless overridden by a user or admin.
LOW If the AOI intersects with NO "Wetland areas" AND NO "Waterbodies areas" OR if "Waters will not be affected"*
*As defined by the report creator in the context questions in the report creation process.
Protected Areas Concern Levels
Protected lands are the federal, territorial, American Indian, state, regional, local, non-governmental, and private conservation lands set aside for the preservation of biological diversity or for recreational purposes. These lands are legally protected, and development within these lands typically triggers additional environmental review or permitting. As such, it is very important to know about the location of protected lands within and in the vicinity of a proposed project, as development within protected lands can drastically affect a project’s timeline, budget, and footprint.
The concern level is:
HIGH if the AOI intersects with ANY "Federal owned or managed areas"
MODERATE if the AOI intersects with ANY "State owned or managed areas" OR ANY "Other owned or managed areas" OR ANY "Tribal Areas"
LOW if the AOI intersects with NO "Federal owned or managed areas" AND NO "State owned or managed areas" AND NO "Other owned or managed areas" AND NO "Tribal Areas"
Environmental Compliance Concern Levels
The environmental compliance information provided by Transect is intended to give the user a preliminary understanding of potential environmental contamination issues that may affect the economics, placement, or scheduling of a project.
MODERATE if the AOI intersects with ANY "Environmental catalog location areas" OR ANY "Federal facilities with formal actions areas" OR ANY "Federal facilities with penalties areas" OR ANY "Federal facilities with violations areas" OR ANY "Federal facilities with resource conservation and recovery acts areas".